1 Corinthians 7
Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament
Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
1 Corinthians 7:1. Περὶ δὲ ὧν ἐγράψατε, Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote) He sets before us his subject at the first with elegance, rather generally than particularly. The apostles in their epistles often treat of marriage; the apostle Paul alone, once and not of his own accord, but when he was asked, advises celibacy, and that too very gently. [So far is this from being a subject, which ought to be obtruded upon mankind by human precepts.—V.g.]—καλὸν, good) This agrees with the feeling, which pervades the preceding chapter. Comp. below 1 Corinthians 7:7-8; 1 Corinthians 7:26; 1 Corinthians 7:34, in the middle of the verse, 35 at the end, 40. It is good, i.e. becoming, suitable, for the sake of liberty and exemption from what is due [by a husband to his wife], 1 Corinthians 7:3, and for the sake of keeping one’s ‘power,’ which he has over himself undiminished, 1 Corinthians 7:4; though on the other hand touching, 1 Corinthians 7:1, has always modesty as its accompaniment among them that are chaste.—ἀνθρώπῳ, for a man) in general, although he be not a Christian, 1 Corinthians 7:7; 1 Corinthians 7:26.—γυναικὸς, a woman) and in like manner for the woman not to be touched. In what follows, the one relation involves the other.

Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
1 Corinthians 7:2. Διὰ, on account of) comp. the for, 1 Corinthians 7:5.—τὰς πορνείας, fornications) constantly practised at Corinth [and not even considered to be sins by the heathens, and especially by the Greeks.—V.g.], to which unmarried persons might be easily allured. The plural denotes irregular lusts, and is on that account more opposed to the unity of the marriage relation [wherein there is but one consort].—τὴν ἑαυτοῦ, his own) the same as ἴδιον, her own, which immediately after occurs. The same variation occurs in Ephesians 5:22-23. ἑαυτοῦ, his own, indicates the rights of the husband. Both words exclude all community, in which polygamy consists, comp. 1 Corinthians 7:4. Now the reason, why a man should have a wife, is the same as that, for which he should retain her, namely, to avoid fornication. Hence also concubinage is refuted, for a concubine is either a wife or she is not; if she is not, there is sin, if she is, then she ought to continue, 1 Corinthians 7:10-11.

Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.
1 Corinthians 7:3. Ὀφειλὴν, what is due [due benevolence, Engl. Vers.]) This is explained in the next verse. Gataker shows, that the same duty was called by the Greeks χάριν, by the poets φιλότητα. The reading of this passage, due benevolence, ὀφειλομένην εὒνοιαν, is a spurious paraphrase.[56] [ὀφειλὴν is the native (genuine) and simple reading.—Not. crit.]

[56] Ὀφειλὴν is the reading of ABCDG Vulg. fg Memph. Orig. Cypr. Ὀφειλομένην εὐνοίαν of Rec. Text is the reading of both the Syriac Versions, but of none other of the oldest authorities.—ED.

The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.
1 Corinthians 7:4. Ἰδίου, of her own) This word with the phrase, she has not power, makes an elegant paradox. The rights of both are equal.

Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
1 Corinthians 7:5. Μὴ ἀποστερεῖτε, defraud not) So the LXX., Exodus 21:10, he shall not defraud her of her duty of marriage, τὴν ὁμιλίαν αὐτῆς (ענתה) οὐκ ἀποστερήσει. This word agrees with the word due, 1 Corinthians 7:3.—εἰ μή τι ἄν, except it be) It is very much limited. When these conditions occur, it is not privation, but abstinence.—ἵνα σχολάζητε, that you may be at leisure) The apostle speaks here of great leisure, σχολὴν, and ease. Previous abstinence is subservient to prayer. [Those who fasted among the Greeks added here fasting.—Not. crit.[57]]. Abstinence may also have other motives originating it [besides the object of prayer], and those of a bad kind.—καὶ πὰλιν, and again) Concerning such intervals, and their measure, see Selden on the Hebrew wife.—ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ, together) This does not mean the very act of connubial intercourse, but is opposed to the previous separation.—πειράζῃ, should tempt) to fornication, etc., 1 Corinthians 7:2.—ὁ Σατανᾶς, Satan) who amid the exercises of the sublimer virtues seeks an opportunity of doing the greatest injury. Temptation cannot be easily presupposed without Satan.—ἀκρασίαν, incontinency) 1 Corinthians 7:9.

[57] Rec. Text inserts before τῇ προσευχῇ the words τῇ νηστείαò καὶ with both Syr. Versions. But ABCD(Λ)G fg Vulg. Orig. Cypr. omit the words.—ED.

But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.
1 Corinthians 7:6. Τοῦτο, this) what has been mentioned all along from 1 Corinthians 7:2.—κατὰ συγγνώμην οὐ κατʼ ἐπιταγὴν) See 1 Corinthians 7:25, note.

For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.
1 Corinthians 7:7. Θέλω) I would for my part, 1 Corinthians 7:32. Paul had tasted the sweetness of celibacy, and was desirous that others should have the same pleasure in it. The expression, I would, may be also taken absolutely for it is to be wished, comp. 1 Corinthians 6:12, note: as he says on other occasions, οὐκ ἦν θελημα, there was no wish.—γὰρ) for, used in its strict sense. The reference is to 1 Corinthians 7:6.—ὡς καὶ ἐμαυτὸν, as even myself) unmarried. The Corinthians seem to have looked to the example of Paul, 1 Corinthians 7:8.—χάρισμα, gift) That, which in the natural man is a natural habit, becomes in the saints a gift. The gift here is the entire habit [habitual bearing] of the mind and body in the Christian, in so far, for example, as marriage or celibacy is more suitable to him, along with the actions consonant to each state, being in accordance with the commandments of God. But in the case of godly men in an involuntary condition, the assistance of grace is more sure.

I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.
1 Corinthians 7:8. Λέγω δὲ, but I say) Comp. 1 Corinthians 7:12, where the statement is more express.—τοῖς ἀγάμοις, to the unmarried) of both sexes, comp. 1 Corinthians 7:10-11.—χήραις, to widows) including widowers.—μείνωσιν, let them remain) at liberty.—ὡς κᾀγὼ, even as I) Paul was evidently without a wife at that time, comp. 1 Corinthians 9:5; and although he speaks here also of widowers, yet he seems rather to have been a bachelor, than a widower; comp. Acts 7:58, and what follows after

But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.
1 Corinthians 7:9. Κρεῖσσον, better) This comparative does not nullify the positive in 1 Corinthians 7:38.—ἢ πυροῦσθαι, than to be inflamed) A very strong word. A man, who maintains continence, may have that, with which he has to struggle, although he may not be inflamed. Thomas Aquinas on this passage says, to be inflamed [to burn], that is to be overcome by concupiscence; for concupiscence is a certain noxious heat. He, then, who is assailed by it, becomes warm indeed, but he does not burn, unless, overcome by concupiscence, he loses the dew of God’s grace. This burning thrusts men at last into hell-fire.

And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:
1 Corinthians 7:10.[58] ΠΑΡΑΓΓΈΛΛΩ, ΟὐΚ ἘΓῺ, I command, yet not I) a similar zeugma to, I live, yet not I, Galatians 2:20. The force of the word, I command, is affirmatively connected with the Lord.—ὁ Κύριος, the Lord) Christ, who had given instructions on this subject, Matthew 5:32; Matthew 19:4-5; or even spoke to Paul respecting this matter; comp. 1 Corinthians 7:12.—μὴ χωρισθῆναι, not to be separated) The less noble party, the wife is separated; the more noble, the husband, puts away; then in a converse point of view the believing wife also is said to put away, and the unbelieving husband to be separated, 1 Corinthians 7:13; 1 Corinthians 7:15.

[58] Τοῖςγεγαμηκόσι, to the married) when both husband and wife are among the number of believers. The antithesis is τοῖς λοιποῖς, ver. 12; when one or other of the parties is an unbeliever.—V.g.

But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.
1 Corinthians 7:11. Ἐὰν, if) This word also at the end of this verse is to be understood of the husband.—καὶ χωρισθῇ, she even be separated [be put away: not ‘depart,’ as if of herself, Engl. Vers.]) contrary to the commandment.

But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
1 Corinthians 7:12. Τοῖς δὲ λοιποῖς) but to the rest, who are living in marriage.—ἐγὼ, I) see 1 Corinthians 7:25, note.—λέγω, I say) he does not use the expression, I command, as in 1 Corinthians 7:10. I say, viz. this, which is spoken of, 1 Corinthians 7:12-13; 1 Corinthians 7:15-16, and mostly indeed at 1 Corinthians 7:15-16; for if 1 Corinthians 7:12-14, be considered separately, they flow from 1 Corinthians 7:10.—συνευδοκεῖ, she be pleased) There might be many, who either doubted or were not averse from the faith.—Μὴ ἀφιέτω, let him not put away) This rule was stricter in the Old Testament. That the difference between the Old and New Testament is here regarded, we gather from 1 Corinthians 7:18; 1 Corinthians 7:15, note.

And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.
1 Corinthians 7:13. Γυνὴ, the woman) a sister.

For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
1 Corinthians 7:14. Ἡγίασται) has been sanctified, so that the believing party may hold intercourse with the other in the exercise of holiness, and ought not to put him or her away: comp. 1 Timothy 4:5. A very significant word is here used, because Scripture wishes to guarantee to us conscience being left everywhere unencumbered.—ἐν τῇ γυναικὶ) [by the wife] in respect to the wife, with whom he willingly remains; so ἐν, 1 Corinthians 14:11.—πιστῇ, the believing, is not added to γυναικὶ, in accommodation to human modes of thought [κατʼ ἄνθρωπον]: for an unbelieving husband does not know what faith is.—ἐπεὶ ἄρα, otherwise) For [otherwise] the children would follow the condition of the unbelieving parent. The marriage is Christian, and so also are the offspring.—τέκνα, children) who are born of a believing and an unbelieving parent.—ἀκάθαρτα, unclean) as those who are born of parents, who are both unbelievers, although they be not bastards.—ἅγιά ἐστιν, they are holy) ἡγίασται differs from this expression as, to become holy, from to be holy; but the holiness itself of the children and of the unbelieving parent is the same. He is speaking of a purity, which not only makes the children legitimate, not bastards, such as those also have, who are born from the marriage of two unbelievers; but which also imports a degree of nearer relationship with the Church, and a more open door to faith itself, just as if both parents were Christians. Comp. Romans 11:16. Timothy is an example, Acts 16:1, who was the bearer of this epistle, and there might have been many such among the children at Corinth. [A husband is in other respects preferred; but the faith of the wife has more influence than the unbelief of the husband.—V. g.]

But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.
1 Corinthians 7:15. ) ἢ ἡ ἄπιστος.—χωριζέσθω, let—be separated) Let him be divorced. A brother or a sister should be patient, and not think that that ought to be changed, which he or she cannot change. [The believing party is not bound to renounce the faith for the sake of the unbelieving party.—V. g.]—οὐ δεδούλωται, is not under bondage) There was more decided liberty in the latter case on this account, that the believing party was not likely to obtain much assistance from the unbelieving magistrate; although, even in the present day, the same principle holds good for liberty and peace; but with that exception [proviso], let her remain unmarried, 1 Corinthians 7:11.—ἐν δὲ εἰρήνῃ, but in peace) An axiomatic truth; one that proceeds from things internal to things external. There had been formerly enmity, Ephesians 2:15.

For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?
1 Corinthians 7:16. Τί γὰρ, for what) Therefore thou oughtest not to distress thyself too anxiously; but to preserve the tranquillity of thy mind, exertions must be made according to the measure of hope.—ἄνδραγυναῖκα, husband, wife) averse from thee, and therefore from the faith.—σώσεις, thou shalt save) The one consort ought to lead, as far as possible, the other consort to salvation.

But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.
1 Corinthians 7:17. Εἰ μὴ, if not) that is, if this be not so, or, otherwise [but]. There is a digression from husbands and wives, 1 Corinthians 7:10, to any external condition of life.—ἑκάστῳ, to each) It may be thus resolved, let every man walk, as God hath distributed to him.—ἐμέρισεν, hath distributed) 1 Corinthians 7:7.—ὡς κέκληκεν, as He hath called) The state in which the heavenly calling has found every one.—ὁ Κύριος, the Lord) Christ.—περιπατείτω, let him walk) This conclusion in which permission and command are blended together, is repeated and explained at 1 Corinthians 7:20; 1 Corinthians 7:24. Calling from above does not destroy our external conditions. Paul shows that what any one has done or would have done without it, is lawful to be done in it.—καὶ οὕτως, and thus) a universal doctrine, in which the Corinthians also may acquiesce.

Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised.
1 Corinthians 7:18. Μὴ ἐπισπάσθω, let him not draw) [become uncircumcised]. Many, who had apostatized from the Jews to the Gentiles, recovered their uncircumcision to some extent by surgical skill, 1Ma 1:15. See Reineccius on this passage. It may be gathered from the admonition of Paul, that they were imitated by some, who from Jews had become Christians.

Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.
1 Corinthians 7:19. Οὐδέν ἐστι, is nothing) Comp. 1 Corinthians 8:8. So also by parity of reasoning, slavery and liberty; marriage and celibacy, are nothing.—τήρησις, keeping) An axiom worthy of particular notice.—ἐντολῶν, of the commandments) Circumcision had been also commanded; but not for ever, as was the case with love.

Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.
1 Corinthians 7:20. Ἐν τῇ κλήσει, in the calling) The state in which the [heavenly] calling stumbles upon [finds] any one, is equivalent to a calling.

Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.
1 Corinthians 7:21. Μή σοι μελέτω, care not for it) Do not anxiously seek to be set free; so, do not seek [a wife], 1 Corinthians 7:27.—μᾶλλον χρῆσαι, use it rather) use the power of obtaining liberty, or rather use [continue in] slavery; for he, who might become free, has a kind master, whom it is better to serve, than to follow any other course of life, 1 Timothy 6:2; comp. the beginning of the next verse: therefore in 1 Corinthians 7:23, he does not say, be not, but do not become the servants of men.

For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant.
1 Corinthians 7:22. Ἀπελεύθερος, freedman) Ἐλεύθερος, one free, and who also was never a slave; ἀπελεύθερος, a freedman, who had been a slave.—Κυρίου, of the Lord) Christ, which presently after occurs.—ὁ ἐλεὺθερος κληθεὶς, he that being free is called) At the beginning of the verse the word called is put before a servant; here free is placed before the word called, for the sake of emphasis, that he may be also included, who, in consequence of his calling, obtains the power of acquiring freedom. Comp. on the arrangement of the words, Galatians 4:25, note.

Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.
1 Corinthians 7:23. Ἠγοράσθητε, you have been bought) by God [as the servants of Christ.—V. g.]—μὴ γίνεσθε, [not as Engl. Vers. “be not ye”] do not become) The internal and external state should, so far as it is attainable, agree together, and the latter should be subservient to the former. To become here, is properly applied to those, who are not slaves. [Let not him who is free, cast away his liberty. Not. crit.]

Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.
1 Corinthians 7:24. Παρὰ Θεῷ, with God) An antithesis to men, Romans 14:22. Those who are always looking to God maintain a holy indifference about external things. By this principle [viz., regard to God], however, the rule laid down at 1 Corinthians 7:20, is limited. For example, a man, from being a slave, may become free [and thus not abide in the same calling] without any change of his condition before God.

Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.
1 Corinthians 7:25. Παρθένων, virgins) of both sexes: See the following verses. So the word, virgin, Revelation 14:4.—οὐκ ἔχω, I have not) He does not say, we have not. The Corinthians expected a special commandment by revelation, which Paul was to receive.—γνώμην δὲ) A word used with deliberate choice here and at 1 Corinthians 7:40, as presently νομίζω. Aristotle, carefully pointing out the propriety of Greek words, especially in his Ethics, makes the following observations: ἡ καλουμένη γνώμη ἡ τοῦ ἐπιεικοῦς ἐστὶ κρίσις ὀρθή, “that which is termed γνωμη, opinion, is the right judgment of the equitable man:” and again, ἡ δὲ συγγνώμη, γνώμη ἐστὶ κριτικὴ τοῦ ἐπιεικοῦς ὀρθὴ. ὀρθὴ δὲ ἡ τοῦ ἀληθοῦς, “and indulgence [concession] is the upright judicious opinion of what is equitable; and the indulgence of the truthful man is right,” Lib. 6, Eth. Nic. c. 11.[59] There the discussion is more extended, and when we read it all, we shall more clearly understand, what ΓΝΏΜΗ and ΣΥΓΓΝΏΜΗ are. ἘΠΙΤΑΓΉ implies command: ΓΝΏΜΗ relates to opinion, and has ΣΥΓΓΝΏΜΗ [a common sentiment, fellow-feeling, and so indulgence] closely connected with it, which is a γνώμη, accommodated to the state or mind of another, as in regard to a thing done, so also in case of a thing to be done. See 1 Corinthians 7:6, and 2 Corinthians 8:10; 2 Corinthians 8:8, where both of these words, are opposed to Τῇ ἘΠΙΤΑΓῇ. Each has regard to ΤῸ ΣΥΜΦΈΡΟΝ, the profit of him, whose advantage is consulted; in the same verse 10, and here 1 Corinthians 7:35. Such is the nature of those things which are treated of in this chapter, that they partly fall under ἐπιταγὴν, and partly under ΓΝΏΜΗΝ and ΣΥΓΓΝΏΜΗΝ. But it was becoming, that ἘΠΙΤΑΓῊ should be throughout written in the name of the Lord, ΓΝΏΜΗ and ΣΝΓΓΝΏΜΗ, in the name of the apostle. Therefore on that point, which falls under ἘΠΙΤΑΓῊΝ, the Lord had expressly suggested to the apostle what he should write, but on this point, which falls under ΓΝΏΜΗΝ, it was not necessary to make any suggestion; for, the apostles wrote nothing, which was not inspired, ΘΕΌΠΝΕΥΣΤΟΝ; but they sometimes had a special revelation and command, 1 Corinthians 14:37; 1 Thessalonians 4:15 : they derived the rest from the habitual faith, which had taken its rise within them from their experience of the Lord’s mercy; as in this verse; and also from the treasury of the Spirit of God [which they possessed], 1 Corinthians 7:40 : and consequently in cases like this, they might very freely apply various methods according to the variety of circumstances and persons, as their holy feelings [affections of mind] allowed, and they might give up their own right, humble or reprove themselves, prefer others to themselves, beg, entreat, exhort (2 Corinthians 6:1; 2 Corinthians 7:8; 2 Corinthians 11:17, note), at one time treat with greater severity, at another with greater mildness; and hence Paul, for example, uses the softer word ΝΟΜΊΖΩ, and not ΛΈΓΩ, 1 Corinthians 7:26; 1 Corinthians 7:12. He therefore here also, though without ἘΠΙΤΑΓῊΝ, wrote those things, which nevertheless exactly agreed with the mind of the Lord, who willed it, that this ΓΝΏΜΗ, opinion, alone should be given. But at the same time, the apostle faithfully informs us, according to what principle every thing was written (a modesty from which how far I would ask, has the style of the Pope departed?) and furnishes a proof, that those, who have already sufficient assistance [safeguard] from the word and Spirit of God, should not demand anything extraordinary.—ὡς ἠλεημένος, as having obtained mercy) The mercy of the Lord makes men faithful; faith makes a man a true casuist.—ὑπὸ Κυρίου, from the Lord) Christ.—πιστὸς, faithful) having faith in the Lord; evincing that faith both to Him and to men.

[59] Taylor’s translation of this passage is as follows: “What is called upright decision is the right judgment of the equitable man; but pardon is an upright judiciary decision of the equitable man, and the decision is right which is made by a man observant of truth.”

I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be.
1 Corinthians 7:26. Διὰ τὴν ἐνεστῶσαν ἀνάγκην, for the present distress) The famine in the time of Claudius, Acts 11:28. It was very long and severe, especially in Greece. Therefore this counsel of Paul was, partly at least, suited to the time.—ἀνθρώπῳ, for a man) This term is intended to apply to both sexes.—οὓτως, so) as he is [in the same state in which he is]: comp. 1 Corinthians 7:27.

Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.
1 Corinthians 7:27. Δέδεσαιλέλυσαι, thou art bound—thou art loosed) There is an argument in the very words. When bound to a wife, a man is often prevented, with or without any blame to him, from being able so munificently to practise liberality and the other virtues, as he might wish. In the verb λέλυσαι, thou art loosed, the participle is latently contained [thou art one untied], and it has the force of a noun, so that loosed denotes not only him, who is no longer bound to a wife, but also him, who never was so bound. We find a similar phrase in Job 39:5.—μὴ, not) twice, i.e. thou art not forced to seek.

But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.
1 Corinthians 7:28. Τῇ σαρκὶ, in the flesh) Not in the spirit, to which the trouble is sin—but in this present case here there is no sin.—ἐγὼ δὲ, but I) He writes to them with the affection of a father, 1 Corinthians 7:32.—φείδοααι, I spare) It is more difficult and requires greater firmness to regulate well the state of marriage, than of celibacy.

But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;
1 Corinthians 7:29. Τοῦτο δέ φημι, but this I say) The same form of expression occurs 1 Corinthians 15:50, for the purpose of explanation, in summing up the whole.—ἀδελφοὶ, brethren) Paul is wont, especially when writing about external circumstances, to introduce the most noble digressions, as the Holy Spirit is always calling him to the things that are most excellent.—ὁ καιρὸς) the present time, either of the world 1 Corinthians 7:31, ch. 1 Corinthians 10:11, or of individuals, the time of weeping, rejoicing, etc.—συνεσταλμένος) narrow, short, the contrary of unencumbered liberty, 1 Corinthians 7:26.—τὸ λοιπὸν, [but] as to what remains) The particle here is very suitable. [He hints, that the consummation of the world is not far off.—V. g.]—ἵνα, that) Time in short, is of such a nature, that they ought, etc. [Some spend much of their time in seeking the superfluous conveniences of life, in wandering thoughts, in a too pertinacious pursuit of literature, in the length and frequency of their feasts and amusements: and it is a virtue in the opinion of worldly men, when any one knows how to spend with his boon companions in a manner not without its charm, half or even whole days and nights in empty conversation and pursuits. But if it should become necessary either to engage in prayer, or to watch over the education of his children, or to exemplify the duty of love to his neighbour, then truly the want of time is made an obstacle; nay, he has not even leisure to consider, how much guilt is contracted by such conduct.—V. g.]—γυναῖκας, wives) and so, children, friends, patrons. We ought to consider nothing our own.—μὴ, not) Thus Christian self-denial is appropriately expressed. They, who have [earthly goods], as persons who have and are likely long to have, are void of Christian self-denial.]—ὦσι, may be) This word is supplied also in the following verses.

And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;
1 Corinthians 7:30. Οἱ χαίροντες, they who rejoice) he does not say, they who laugh. [Romans 12:15. The train of thought is here (in the words, “they that rejoice”) of nuptial feasts; as in the preceding words (they that weep) of the death of a wife, etc.—V. g.] He speaks soberly as is suitable in the vale of tears.—ὡς μὴ κατέχοντες, as though they possessed not) To possess, after, to buy, makes an epitasis [an emphatic addition to the previous words. Append.]: as after use, abuse comes, in the next verse, from which it is evident, that the figure Ploce [the same word twice, once simply, next expressing an attribute. Append.] occurs in the three preceding clauses; for as the Apostle Paul exhorts the teacher to teach, and every one employed in doing good to be active in doing it, Romans 12:7; so they, that rejoice, rejoice in the world, which same is the very thing that he forbids.

And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.
1 Corinthians 7:31. Οἱ χρώμενοι, they that use) Paul seems to have used this expression for, and they that sell, because according to the general practice of the world, selling in itself is most suitable to travellers. We must use, not enjoy.—ὡς μὴ καταχρώμενοι) as not abusing. The compound verb both in Greek and Latin denotes not only the perversion of the use, but also [‘abundantiam,’ the abundant use] an over-much using.—παράγει, passeth away, every moment, not merely shall pass away.—τὸ σχῆμα τοῦ κόσμου τούτου, the fashion of this world) the world itself and the fashion of it, which is to marry, to weep, to rejoice, to buy, etc., Heb. צלם, Psalm 39:7; Psalm 73:20. While a man, for example, is advancing from the twentieth to the fortieth year of his age, he has almost lost all his former relations and acquires new connexions.

But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:
1 Corinthians 7:32. Ἀμερίμνους, without carefulness) not only without affliction, 1 Corinthians 7:28, but also without any care distracting the mind.—ὁ ἄγαμος, he that is unmarried) namely if he wishes to use wisely the condition in which he is placed.—τοῦ κυρίου, of the Lord) Christ, ἀρέσει, may please) by holiness of body and spirit.

But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.
1 Corinthians 7:33. Πῶς ἀρέσει) how he may please. The word please is repeated from the preceding verse, and comprehends here all the duties of a husband, which the wife may demand in everthing relating to the married state.

There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
1 Corinthians 7:34. Μεμέρισται καὶ ἡ γυνὴ καὶ ἡ παρθένος) That is, there is a difference alse between a wife and a virgin. Not only the unmarried and the married man have duties differing from each other; but also the duties of the wife, and virgin (of the female sex) differ as far as possible from each other. Some connect the word μεμέρισται, having the particle καὶ also before it,[60] by a different pointing, with the foregoing words, but Paul refers it to those which follow. The difference, namely between marriage and celibacy, each of which claims for itself a different class of duties, rather refers to women than to men; for the woman is the helper of the man;—the woman undergoes a greater change of her condition, than the man, in contracting marriage; comp. 1 Corinthians 7:39-40. Further, he is speaking here chiefly of virgins, 1 Corinthians 7:25 : therefore the word μεμέρισται is particularly well adapted to this place; and the singular number does not prevent it from being construed with wife and virgin. So 2 Kings 10:5, in the Hebrew, He that was over the house, and he that was over the city, the elders also and the bringers tip of the children SENT” [singular verb] (Heb. ישלח), so below, 1 Corinthians 9:6, Ἢ ΜΟΝΟΣ ἘΓῺ ΚΑῚ ΒΑΡΝΆΒΑς, Κ.Τ.Λ., “or I ONLY [instead of ΜΟΝΟΊ] and Barnabas.”—ἽΝΑ Ἡ ἈΓΊΑ, that she may be holy) She thus pleases the Lord, if she be holy, being wholly devoted to him. Holiness here implies something more than at 1 Corinthians 7:14.

[60] Lachm. reads καὶ μεμέρισται καὶ with AB Vulg., and punctuates thus, γυναικί, καὶ μεμέρισται. καὶ ἡ γυνὴ, etc., G fg read μεμέρισται καὶ. Tischend. reads as Lachm., but puts the full stop at γυναικί.—ED.

And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.
1 Corinthians 7:35. Αὐτῶν, your own.—βρόχον, a snare) A snare, the fear of committing sin, where there is no sin, or even forced service. Men are unwillingly drawn into a snare, Proverbs 7:21, LXX. That is readily considered as a snare, which is most conducive to profit [σύμφερον].—εὔσχημον) an antithesis to ἀσχημονεῖν, in the following verse.—εὐπάρεδρον) akin to this is the verb προσεδρεύειν, in 1 Corinthians 9:13. An example is found in Luke 10:39.—τῷ Κυρίῳ, to the Lord) εὐπάρεδρον, as well as παρεδρεύω, governs the dative.—ἀπερισπάστως) This explains the word εὐπάρεδρον, for assiduous attendance upon the Lord, and distraction, are the reverse of each other. Sitting [involved in the εὐπάρεδρον] assists the devout mind. Comp. Luke 10:39-40. Paul says something similar of the widow, 1 Timothy 5:5.

But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.
1 Corinthians 7:36. Τὶς, any man) a parent.—ἀσχημονεῖν) viz. ἑαυτὸν.—τὴν παρθένον αὐτοῦ) a virgin, his daughter.—νομίζει, thinks) Antithesis to, I think (suppose), 1 Corinthians 7:26.—εἂν ᾖ ὑπέρακμος) if she pass, ἀκμὴν, the flower, of her age without marriage, as it were despised by suitors.—ὀφείλει, it so ought to be [need so require, Engl. V.] [because he cannot see how better to consult the advantage of his daughter.—V. g.], having no necessity, in the following verse is the antithesis.—οὐχʼ ἁμαρτάνει, he sinneth not) The matter is sweetly expressed by short clauses.

Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well.
1 Corinthians 7:37. Ἕστηκεν, he who standeth stedfast) There is in this passage an admirable synonymy [accumulation of synonymous clauses] and description of liberty.—μὴ ἔχων ἀνάγκην, having no necessity) on account of which he should prefer celibacy to marriage, 1 Corinthians 7:26, or marriage to celibacy.—ἐξονσίαν) control [power], without any interference.—ἔχει, has) for having: for not and but are in mutual relation to each other. There is the same enallage in Colossians 1:6, note.—περὶ, over) For often the will is one thing, and the power an altogether different thing.—ἰδιόυ, his own) Liberty is elegantly denoted. [Those who have now a regard to the Divine will, are often led to think, that they have been appointed to obtain only by one way, the things which correspond to the Divine will. Nevertheless, God grants to man full liberty regarding what is agreeable to His law, Deut. 36:6.[61]—V. g.]—κέκρικεν) has so judged [decreed, has come to this as his decided opinion].—καλῶς ποιεῖ, doeth well) he not only does not sin; he acts very well (καλῶς).

[61] Rather Numbers 36:6. Let them marry to whom they think best.—ED.

So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better.
1 Corinthians 7:38. Ὣστε, therefore) We must observe, with how great earnestness, fidelity, and fulness, Paul dwells on this passage.—καὶ) also.

The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.
1 Corinthians 7:39. Ἐν Κυρίῳ, in the Lord) So that Christ is here also all things. Christians and unbelievers mixed in society and dwelt together. He therefore commands Christian men to many Christian women.

But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God.
1 Corinthians 7:40. Μακαριωτέρα, happier) 1 Corinthians 7:1; 1 Corinthians 7:28; 1 Corinthians 7:34-35; Luke 23:29.—δοκῶ, I think) The Corinthians thought more of themselves than was right, and less of Paul. Paul with delicate pleasantry, ἀστέιως, gives them back their own expression.—κᾀγὼ) I also, no less certainly, than any of you [who may think he has the Spirit].—Πνεῦμα Θεοῦ, the Spirit of GOD) whose counsels are spiritual, divine.

Gnomon of the New Testament by Johann Bengel

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